Addressing the cultural, spiritual and religious perspectives of palliative care

Ann Palliat Med. 2018 Jan;7(Suppl 1):AB016. doi: 10.21037/apm.2018.s016.


Healthcare services are often out of sync with cultural, spiritual and religious perspectives on health, death, and grieving. This dissonance affects attitudes and behaviours in seeking and utilizing end-of-life health services and can lead to poor clinical communication, misunderstanding, and anxiety as patients, families and health providers interact during a serious illness. To address a gap in cultural-specific information Canadian Virtual Hospice launched evidence-informed collection of videos of immigrants, refugees, and Indigenous people sharing their stories about the intersection of culture, spirituality, and religion with their experiences of advanced illness, palliative care, and grief. The video repository includes over 650 video clips, available in 11 different languages. These narratives empower and educate patients and their families by raising their awareness about accessing, advocating, and receiving culturally safe and inclusive care as they navigate the Canadian healthcare system. also promotes culturally sensitive care among health providers to enhance their knowledge and skills in providing culturally safe and inclusive care in order to improve care outcomes. This presentation will introduce, provide strategies for incorporating the tool into practice to support patient and family care and share summative evaluation results. A Somali-Canadian journalist and community leader will share her unique Muslim and Somali perspective about the way illness, dying and grief is approached and the impact of in the community. Overviews of other culture groups' video resources will also be shared, reflecting Canada's rich cultural tapestry. This workshop will provide an overview of, share video clips from the 11 cultures in the series and include a discussion with a Somali-Canadian journalist and community leader about the way people in her culture approach illness, dying and grief and the overall impact of

Keywords: Healthcare service; community; palliative care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Canada
  • Culturally Competent Care / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Spirituality*
  • Terminal Care / organization & administration*
  • Terminal Care / psychology*